by Tuesday Morning Tailback
Recently, Facebook released a map of the USA which, county-by-county outlined the most popular local team. This was based on the cross referencing of an official teams “likes” and the location of the person who executed the “like”. While this map pretty much unfolds geographically, there is some interesting data points which can be extracted from this map.
- The headline is that the New York Jets do not win a single county anywhere. But this is not so surprising since they decided to play in the same stadium as the much older and more well established Giants for the past 30 years. If they had stayed at Shea and worked the Brooklyn/Queens/Long Island side of the metropolis, perhaps things would have been different, but it seems the Jets are doomed to be a second team until they relocate to another city.
- Moving up from the bottom, the next level of teams are those that have a small cluster around their home cities but do not extend out any further than their state borders. There are seven of these teams San Diego Chargers, Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills, and Baltimore Ravens. Of these, the most unique is the Cardinals, the only team that controls the entirety of one state (Arizona, naturally) and absolutely nowhere else.
- The Oakland Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars also have unique patterns. The Raiders are not the most popular in their immediate area (that is controlled by the 49ers), but are the most popular around their old city of Los Angeles along with some counties on California’s Northern tier. Beyond the counties surrounding Jacksonville, the Jaguars have a second cluster of fans through South Carolina.
- Aside from the Cardinals, there are ten teams that are the most popular throughout an entire state. These are the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles, and New England Patriots.
- Of the above group, there are actually four which do not possess the entirety of their home state but are the most popular everywhere in a neighboring state. These are:
- The 49ers (Hawaii)
- The Cowboys (Oklahoma)
- The Steelers (West Virginia)
- The Eagles (Delaware)
- Three teams from the group in #4 are the most popular in the entirety of multiple states:
- The Seahawks (Washington and Alaska)
- The Broncos (Colorado and Wyoming)
- The Patriots (Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine)
- The Patriots are most popular in counties spread over 6 states. These are, of course, the “New England” states; the 5 listed above plus Connecticut. However, there are three teams which are spread over more states than the Patriots:
- The Green Bay Packers are in 7 – Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, Montana, and Kentucky
- The Denver Broncos are in 10 – Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and Idaho
- The Dallas Cowboys are in 18 – Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida
As the NFL aims to go international, I’m sure it won’t be long until we see an international map of popularity.
Tuesday Morning Tailback is a weekly article during football season which take a critical look at the NFL. We do this from the base belief that NFL football is the greatest game in the history of mankind, but some recent policies and the overall direction of the league has chipped away at this greatness. Our primary goal is to spark debate on these subjects, so please leave your own opinion on this article in the comment box below.